Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dubai police have intercepted an illegal shipment of 16,000 pistols from Turkey to Yemen, Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, the Dubai Police commander-in-chief, said Thursday.

"We shall not allow any criminal elements to use our territories to carry out any illicit plot that poses threat to peace and security of any country," Tamim said.

The weapons were found in a shipping container in Dubai's port.

"The huge amount of brand-faked hand guns along with additional bullet chambers, manufactured in Turkey, were carefully hidden among wrapped boxes carrying furniture in a container which was temporarily stored in one of Dubai's storehouses," a government statement said.

Like a number of nations in the Middle East and North Africa, Yemen has experienced growing unrest. A crackdown on protesters last week left 52 people dead.

Protesters have called for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has ruled Yemen since 1978. The country has been wracked by a Shiite Muslim uprising, a U.S.-aided crackdown on al Qaeda operatives and a looming shortage of water.

High unemployment fuels much of the anger among a growing young population steeped in poverty. The protesters also cite government corruption and a lack of political freedom. Saleh has promised not to run for president in the next round of elections.


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